“I’ve cried a lot recently,” says Priscilla Arriaga, a former HOMECorp tenant, as she spoke from her sparkling new kitchen at Montclair Residences with her 8 year-old son, Matthew.
“We just love it here!” Only a year ago, life for Ms. Arriaga and Matthew looked questionable at best. She’d lost her job and didn’t know how she would pay the rent in her HOMECorp apartment. She quickly turned to HOMECorp for help.
After she was laid off, Ms. Arriaga approached Barbara Brown at HOMECorp where she described the difficulty she was having paying her monthly bills-particularly the rent. She referred her to the United Way of North Essex where she applied for and received rental assistance. Ms. Brown also shared other resources including holiday gift cards donated by HOMECorp trustees. “That made all the difference in the world for me and my son”, says Ms. Arriaga. She later enrolled in school through her unemployment benefits and has since returned to work. She anticipates graduating in 2012.
For a year Ms. Arriaga says that each morning as she and Matthew drove past the Montclair Residences construction site, that they would raise their hands and pray that it would one day be their new home. She couldn’t believe her good fortune when Ms. Brown notified her she was eligible to move into one of the 17 affordable units. The building has a swimming pool where Matthew graduated from splashing to swimming laps all in one summer.
Ms. Arriaga admits that she’s cried a lot since moving in: when she first toured the unit, when she saw her washer/dryer and when she received her keys. She gives credit for the recent good fortune in part due to HOMECorp; for working with her during the more difficult periods of her life. Ms. Arriaga, a deeply spiritual person, says, “I’m super grateful to God for putting people in my path when I needed help the most.” She believes she is a living example of what trust, unwavering faith and hard work, brings.